You know, I think Venezuela are quite right to want to keep the revenue of their own oil for their own people. I think it's disgusting to hear Bush warming up to make war on them. And if there was a war I would support Chavez against my own government.
But if we were playing football against Venezuela, then I would support England to win. Otherwise where is the fun in it? And where's the fun for the smaller or third world country that might beat us, if we English say 'Oh, we didn't want our team to win anyway.' Instead I think that if you go into a tournament you expose yourself to almost inevitable disappointment, and that's the intensity and fun of it. You want to win whole-heartedly, and you genuinely mind that you lose, and that is the greatest compliment you can pay to your opponents.
And to sum up, nicked from Crooked Timber, here are links to some of the all time ecstatic football commentators, expressing the intense joy in scoring against more favoured teams. Who would wish to dampen this joy?
Kuwait vs Czechoslovakia in 1982 (in Arabic) 'Allah, Allah!' and they only equalised
Holland vs Argentina in 1998 (in Dutch) 'Der ist Bergkamp!'
and of course the immortal, wonderful
Norway vs England 1981 audio can be linked from here.
"Vi er best i verden! Vi er best i verden! Vi har slått England 2-1 i fotball!! Det er aldeles uuutrolig! Vi har slått England! England, kjempers fødeland; Looord Nelson, Looord Beaverbrook, Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Anthony Eden, Clement Attlee, Henry Cooper, Lady Diana. Vi har slått dem alle sammen, vi har slått dem alle sammen. Maggie Thatcher can you hear me?
"Maggie Thatcher, Jeg har et budskap til deg midt under valgkampen: Vi har slått England ut av Verdensmesterskapet i fotball. Maggie Thatcher. Som de sier på ditt språk i boksebarene rundt Madison Square Garden: Your boys took a hell of a beating! Your boys took a hell of a beating!"